Between the individual and the group: the others
What happens when we feel empathy for one individual in need while we are aware of the presence of others who may have similar needs? According to the “one-among-others” effect, we propose that in this situation can elicit the copresence of different motives (e.g., altruism and justice) that may conflict with each other. Under these circumstances, the decision to help will be influenced by the extent to which the situation either prevents or allows to resolve such conflict. Our work is focused on analyzing this kind of situation at four levels: perceptual, emotional, motivational, and behavioral.
Proposing a new social motive: Quixoteism
We propose the existence of a motive characterized by the combination of an instrumental and an ultimate goal: embarking on challenges that may increase the welfare of the world. We labeled it as Quixoteism. Up to now, we conducted research to propose and test (a) the psychological mechanisms that could activate it (e.g., a constellation of values oriented toward the trascendental change) and (b) its possible behavioral consequences (e.g., performing heroic behaviors).